Jing is one of the deadly Tong assassins called `Ghosts'. When one of the heads of the Tong is acting out of character for the family Jing is selected to send him a warning. When Chang takes revenge on Jing by killing her father and the rest of the Tongs. Jing flees to America posing as a mail-order bride to businessman Edward, however Chang is hot on her heels and tells the LA police that she is a girl who has run away from home. Detective Dan Olinghouse is put on the case but begins to realise that the story he has been told is not the whole story.
Always up for a bit of martial arts action I taped this late night movie with reasonable, if not high, hopes that it would be enjoyable. Sadly, aside from a few enjoyable moments this is one poor pile of s***. The plot is silly (internet bride!) from the basics straight up to the top and is pretty laughable. It never really grips and nothing in it is convincing at any point.
The very cheap production values don't help of course, with many of the sets looking like cardboard TV sets at best. This is clearly seen to even the casual observer in the laughable flaws in continuity even someone half watching (as I was) could easily pick out 4 or 5 things that just don't run together. These and other flaws run through everything and even some of the fight scenes are just rubbish. This is not to say all as some of them are quite good even if they haven't been very clumsily sped up to make them look more exciting than they actually are. However the climatic shoot out/fight is very dumb and is nothing like tense or exciting.
The actors are lumbered with poor dialogue and suffer as a result even if some of them deserve poor lines in poor films. Madsen should really know better than this he may not be an A-list star but he is better than bottom shelf stuff like this he isn't even the lead here! His character is difficult cause he is a bad guy in a form and I never got into him. Madsen just plays him half asleep and it's a waste of a good screen presence. Tagawa is a B-movie star but even this is below some of his stuff. He over-acts like a good un and has a cartoon villain for a character I suspect he took it cause he gets to frolic with lots of sexy girls in underwear!
Lai herself is pretty handy with her hands but is not `pretty' anything else. She looks old at the start but looks better later on. However her deep voice and slow delivery of lines makes it feel like she's reading off an autocue somewhere. She can fight and she does make the odd fight scene worth watching but no more than that. Hatch is awful and the chemistry between him and Lai is absent for much of the film and pasted on like a whore's lipstick in the final scenes to the point that I never bought it. Dourif is wasted what in God's name was he thinking when he signed onto this?
Overall this film is silly but could have risen above it to be a trashy martial arts B-movie that was enjoyable despite everything. However the range of faults and lack of effort put into it just make it unenjoyable from start to finish. Cheap production values, rubbish dialogue, absurd plotting and a real lack of attention to detail just shows this film to be a cheap thing they knocked out in a few weeks at most. Cheap and nasty and with no redeeming features the only thing that amazed me about it was how they got so many famous faces to appear in it!
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